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2012 Honda Accord Crosstour Road Test Review by Martha Hindes

2012 Honda Crosstour Road Test Review

by Martha Hindes

2012 CUV Buyer's Guide - Top 10 Picks


Kia Soul

Cadillac SRX

Mazda CX-9

Honda Crosstour

Hyundai Tucson

"I love your car," said the woman at the filling station. "What year is that?" A 2012, we responded, as we added some regular to the tank of the sporty 2012 Honda Crosstour in our care for a week.

This is what you might call Honda's sexy crossover wagon, depending on whether you think a crossover with its need to tote cargo can be sexy and fun to drive. We chose this vehicle for our buyer's guide although the Crosstour can be a bit hard to categorize but gives an alternative to haul capability that isn't cookie cutter predictable.

New for 2012 is standard backup camera, a welcome addition since the Crosstour in its first two years was blasted for rear blind spot problems. All get on/off headlights. Also new is the abbreviated name, now minus the previous Accord designation, indicating the Honda midsize sedan foundation on which it is based.

Road & Travel Magazine staffers were pretty sure the Crosstour wouldn't win for fuel economy when we first tapped the accelerator and discovered the vehicle wanted to play. While enjoying the smooth ride and authoritative performance, we did play a bit, and then paid for it with that necessary refueling stop.

The 3.5-liter, i-VTEC V-6 engine, with five-speed automatic, is standard on base EX and premium EX-L models. It can drop some cylinders at highway speed for improved fuel efficiency. Mileage numbers of 18 city/27 highway/21 combined reflect the lack of a four-banger engine like some competitors. The EX-L with four wheel drive drops one highway mile.

Our own testing might have done better if we had paid more attention to "eco" driving. It was relegated to city streets and express roads which it easily took in stride. But the Crosstour can tow 1,500 pounds and its 6.2-inches of ground clearance suggest it can hunt.

Admirers and critics seem polarized about the Crosstour's styling. It seems you love it or diss it if you're in auto writer class. But this crossover wagon won't get lost in a crowd. We admired the sleek exterior lines that flow rearward to a rather wide C pillar that separates the body from tailgate. A horizontally split rear window has a wiper for the sloping glass at the top. The rear camera neutralizes some blind spot problems.

Inside, the Crosstour reflects the Accord's touch of class, with a comfortable, spacious cabin, understated yet handsome styling, easy-to-use controls, speed sensitive volume and obligatory Bluetooth audio functionality. Side view mirrors aim curbward for parking ease.
While the rear design cuts into trunk space somewhat, it should be sufficient for the majority of luggage or package hauling needs. Most CUV owners rarely load their vehicle trunks from floor to ceiling anyway. The trunk deck is flat and carpeted a nice touch. And, hidden under the floor is a large, washable bin with hinged handles that expands storage capacity, especially for loose items or muddy sneakers. Load it, stow it, then retrieve it intact.

As vehicle prices creep higher, Crosstour is right there with them. This crossover wagon, at some $30,000 base, isn't a bargain hunter's delight. Navi and 4-wheel drive (EX-L) are optional. But for those whose hauling needs don't include extra bulky items, who want styling that stands out in a crowd, a good safety rating, a sporty drive, and who don't mind paying for the privilege, we think this is a winner.

Visit the Honda website, click here.